Police workforce

Published

Last updated 28 August 2020 - see all updates

1. Main facts and figures

  • at the end of March 2019, 93.1% of police officers were from the White ethnic group and 6.9% were from other ethnic groups
  • 4.0% of senior officers were from the Asian, Black, Mixed and Other ethnic groups combined, compared with 2.8% in 2007
  • between 2007 and 2019, the total percentage of police officers from the Asian, Black, Mixed and Other ethnic groups went up from 3.9% to 6.9%
  • according to the 2011 Census, 86% of people in England and Wales were White and 14% were from other ethnic groups

2. Things you need to know

What the data measures

This data shows the ethnic breakdown of the police workforce in England and Wales. It comes from the records for the 43 police forces in England and Wales, and the British Transport Police.

The data comes from a snapshot taken on 31 March every year. It focuses on police officers, but the analysis ‘By ethnicity and role’ looks at the whole police workforce.

Figures are based on 'full-time equivalent' (FTE) staff numbers. For example, someone who works 2.5 days a week has an FTE of 0.5.

Figures are shown separately for special constables, who are volunteers and not counted as part of the police workforce.

Population estimates come from the 2011 Census.

Percentages are rounded to 1 decimal place.

Not included in the data

The data does not include staff whose ethnicity wasn’t known. In 2019, ethnicity wasn’t known for:

  • 3% of police officers
  • 3% of the total police workforce
  • 10% of special constables

Since the British Transport Police covers the whole of England and Wales, a rate per population per region has not been calculated.

The ethnic groups used in the data

Staff working for the police in England and Wales report their own ethnicity based on the following 5 aggregated ethnic groups:

  • Asian
  • Black
  • Mixed
  • White
  • Other ethnic group (including Chinese)

Methodology

Read the detailed methodology document (PDF, 740KB, 26 pages) (PDF opens in a new window or tab) for this data.

3. By ethnicity (police officers)

Percentage and number of police officers, and percentage of the overall population (at 2011 Census), by ethnicity
Ethnicity % of police officers % of population Number of full time police officers
Asian 2.9 6.8 3,475
Black 1.2 3.3 1,492
Mixed 2.1 2.2 2,473
White 93.1 86.0 111,695
Other including Chinese 0.7 1.7 888
Unknown N/A* N/A* 3,148

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity (police officers)’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity (police officers)’ (CSV)

Summary of Police workforce By ethnicity (police officers) Summary

This data shows that:

  • at the end of March 2019, 93.1% of police officers were from the White ethnic group
  • 2.9% of police officers were Asian, 2.1% had Mixed ethnicity, 1.2% were Black and 0.7% were from the Other ethnic group

4. By ethnicity over time (police officers)

Percentage and number of police officers by ethnicity over time
Asian Black Mixed White Other including Chinese Unknown
Time Asian % of police officers Asian FTE Black % of police officers Black FTE Mixed % of police officers Mixed FTE White % of police officers White FTE Other inc Chinese % of police officers Other inc Chinese FTE Unknown % of police officers Unknown FTE
2007 1.5 2,111 1.0 1,350 1.0 1,419 96.1 134,372 0.5 632 N/A* 1,999
2008 1.6 2,231 1.0 1,371 1.1 1,525 95.9 134,000 0.5 656 N/A* 1,920
2009 1.7 2,472 1.0 1,427 1.2 1,699 95.6 135,651 0.5 689 N/A* 1,839
2010 1.8 2,607 1.0 1,446 1.3 1,844 95.3 135,293 0.5 745 N/A* 1,799
2011 1.9 2,582 1.0 1,442 1.3 1,838 95.2 130,870 0.5 754 N/A* 1,625
2012 2.0 2,607 1.1 1,420 1.4 1,871 95.0 125,579 0.6 766 N/A* 1,858
2013 2.0 2,563 1.1 1,361 1.5 1,865 94.9 121,086 0.6 749 N/A* 1,961
2014 2.1 2,665 1.1 1,352 1.5 1,922 94.7 119,071 0.6 776 N/A* 2,124
2015 2.2 2,795 1.1 1,373 1.6 2,028 94.4 117,757 0.6 785 N/A* 2,079
2016 2.4 2,881 1.2 1,433 1.7 2,096 94.1 114,437 0.7 808 N/A* 2,411
2017 2.6 3,104 1.2 1,432 1.8 2,185 93.7 112,953 0.7 841 N/A* 2,616
2018 2.7 3,266 1.2 1,424 1.9 2,309 93.4 111,505 0.7 852 N/A* 3,048
2019 2.9 3,475 1.2 1,492 2.1 2,473 93.1 111,695 0.7 888 N/A* 3,148

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity over time (police officers)’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity over time (police officers)’ (CSV)

Summary of Police workforce By ethnicity over time (police officers) Summary

This data shows that:

  • between 2007 and 2019, the percentage of police officers who were from the Asian, Black, Mixed and Other ethnic groups went up
  • the biggest increase was in the Asian ethnic group, where the percentage of police officers went up from 1.5% to 2.9%, and the number of full-time equivalent officers rose from 2,111 to 3,475

5. By ethnicity and area (police officers)

Percentage and number of police officers, and percentage of the overall population (at 2011 Census), by ethnicity and police force area
Asian Black Mixed White Other including Chinese Unknown
Geography Asian % officers Asian % population Asian Number of police officers Black % officers Black % population Black Number of police officers Mixed % officers Mixed % population Mixed Number of police officers White % officers White % population White Number of police officers Other inc Chinese % officers Other inc Chinese % population Other inc Chinese Number of police officers Unknown % officers Unknown % population Unknown Number of police officers
All - excluding BTP 2.9 6.8 3,475 1.2 3.3 1,492 2.1 2.2 2,473 93.1 86.0 111,695 0.7 1.7 888 N/A* N/A* 3,148
Avon & Somerset 0.4 2.1 10 0.4 1.9 10 2.2 1.8 52 96.8 93.3 2,351 0.3 1.0 7 N/A* N/A* 246
Bedfordshire 5.4 13.2 63 1.5 4.8 17 3.1 3.0 36 90.0 77.5 1,035 0.0 1.4 0 N/A* N/A* 13
British Transport Police 4.3 N/A* 119 2.6 N/A* 72 2.7 N/A* 74 89.9 N/A* 2,479 0.5 N/A* 14 N/A* N/A* 85
Cambridgeshire 1.3 4.9 19 0.5 1.3 8 2.0 2.0 29 95.8 90.3 1,372 0.3 1.6 4 N/A* N/A* 15
Cheshire 0.5 1.2 9 0.3 0.3 5 0.9 1.0 17 98.3 96.9 1,899 0.1 0.5 2 N/A* N/A* 75
Cleveland 1.0 3.1 12 0.4 0.6 5 0.1 1.0 1 98.3 94.5 1,156 0.2 0.8 2 N/A* N/A* 22
Cumbria 0.3 0.6 3 0.2 0.1 2 0.6 0.5 7 98.9 98.5 1,123 0.0 0.3 0 N/A* N/A* 25
Derbyshire 2.0 3.6 36 0.3 1.0 5 0.9 1.4 16 96.6 93.3 1,702 0.2 0.7 3 N/A* N/A* 5
Devon & Cornwall 0.1 0.7 3 0.3 0.2 6 1.0 0.9 25 98.4 97.5 2,338 0.2 0.6 5 N/A* N/A* 623
Dorset 0.3 1.4 3 0.2 0.4 2 1.2 1.3 14 98.3 96.0 1,110 0.1 0.8 1 N/A* N/A* 94
Durham 0.4 0.8 4 0.1 0.2 1 1.1 0.7 12 98.4 97.8 1,098 0.1 0.5 1 N/A* N/A* 2
Dyfed-Powys 0.2 0.8 2 0.1 0.2 1 0.7 0.6 6 98.9 98.0 905 0.1 0.4 1 N/A* N/A* 230
Essex 0.4 2.3 11 0.2 2.0 5 1.9 1.6 56 97.4 93.2 2,934 0.2 0.9 7 N/A* N/A* 58
Gloucestershire 0.8 1.8 8 0.4 0.9 4 1.2 1.5 12 97.5 95.4 1,012 0.2 0.5 2 N/A* N/A* 35
Greater Manchester 4.0 9.2 254 0.8 2.8 48 2.0 2.3 128 92.7 83.8 5,940 0.6 2.0 36 N/A* N/A* 38
Gwent 0.9 1.7 11 0.5 0.6 6 0.6 1.0 8 97.7 96.1 1,240 0.3 0.6 4 N/A* N/A* 40
Hampshire 0.9 3.0 24 0.3 0.9 8 1.3 1.6 33 96.9 93.3 2,518 0.6 1.1 16 N/A* N/A* 98
Hertfordshire 1.5 5.7 31 0.8 2.8 16 2.1 2.5 43 95.5 87.6 1,902 0.1 1.4 1 N/A* N/A* 17
Humberside 0.6 1.3 12 0.4 0.5 8 0.6 0.9 12 98.3 96.5 1,844 0.1 0.8 1 N/A* N/A* 12
Kent 1.3 3.1 47 0.3 1.3 10 1.6 1.6 56 96.5 93.1 3,377 0.3 0.9 9 N/A* N/A* 54
Lancashire 2.8 7.4 76 0.1 0.4 3 1.9 1.1 52 95.0 90.4 2,620 0.2 0.7 5 N/A* N/A* 139
Leicestershire 4.9 15.3 87 0.6 2.4 11 2.2 2.0 39 92.2 78.4 1,644 0.1 1.9 2 N/A* N/A* 47
Lincludingolnshire 0.5 0.8 5 0.6 0.4 6 0.9 0.9 10 97.9 97.6 1,064 0.2 0.4 2 N/A* N/A* 9
London, City of 2.4 9.2 18 1.8 2.6 13 2.1 3.9 16 93.4 78.6 688 0.3 5.7 2 N/A* N/A* 3
Merseyside 0.4 1.4 15 0.5 1.1 18 2.1 1.5 71 96.4 94.5 3,231 0.5 1.6 17 N/A* N/A* 44
Metropolitan Police 5.9 17.0 1,752 3.5 13.3 1,037 3.5 5.0 1,034 85.0 59.8 25,384 2.2 5.0 659 N/A* N/A* 570
Norfolk 0.4 1.1 6 0.6 0.5 10 0.9 1.2 15 97.9 96.5 1,550 0.2 0.6 3 N/A* N/A* 26
North Wales 0.2 0.9 3 0.1 0.2 1 0.6 0.7 9 99.1 97.5 1,419 0.1 0.6 1 N/A* N/A* 26
North Yorkshire 0.7 1.2 10 0.1 0.5 1 0.9 0.9 12 98.2 96.6 1,338 0.1 0.8 1 N/A* N/A* 16
Northamptonshire 1.2 3.3 14 0.9 2.4 11 1.6 2.0 19 96.1 91.5 1,092 0.1 0.8 1 N/A* N/A* 50
Northumbria 0.5 2.7 15 0.1 0.6 3 1.1 0.9 33 98.2 94.6 2,932 0.1 1.3 4 N/A* N/A* 94
Nottinghamshire 2.4 4.4 46 0.9 2.5 17 1.9 2.8 35 94.6 88.8 1,806 0.3 1.4 5 N/A* N/A* 27
South Wales 0.7 2.8 20 0.2 1.0 5 1.4 1.4 42 97.4 93.4 2,891 0.3 1.5 9 N/A* N/A* 20
South Yorkshire 2.0 4.1 46 0.4 1.9 10 1.3 1.5 30 96.3 90.6 2,267 0.1 1.8 2 N/A* N/A* 14
Staffordshire 1.2 3.2 19 0.4 0.8 7 1.1 1.3 17 97.2 94.1 1,518 0.0 0.7 0 N/A* N/A* 6
Suffolk 0.3 1.5 4 0.3 0.9 4 2.3 1.7 27 96.8 95.2 1,119 0.2 0.6 2 N/A* N/A* 17
Surrey 1.3 4.8 24 0.6 1.1 12 2.1 2.1 38 95.3 90.4 1,730 0.6 1.7 10 N/A* N/A* 67
Sussex 0.4 2.5 11 0.2 0.9 6 1.5 1.9 38 97.4 93.7 2,426 0.3 1.0 9 N/A* N/A* 139
Thames Valley 1.8 8.5 72 0.6 3.0 25 2.3 2.5 95 94.8 84.6 3,903 0.5 1.4 21 N/A* N/A* 33
Warwickshire 3.1 4.2 25 0.1 0.8 1 0.9 1.5 7 95.5 92.7 769 0.5 0.9 4 N/A* N/A* 12
West Mercia 0.9 1.8 18 0.3 0.4 6 1.1 1.1 22 97.6 96.2 1,926 0.1 0.5 2 N/A* N/A* 15
West Midlands 6.9 18.0 442 1.4 6.0 93 2.5 3.5 159 89.0 70.1 5,734 0.2 2.3 12 N/A* N/A* 54
West Yorkshire 3.5 12.6 180 0.5 2.1 24 1.6 2.2 83 94.1 81.8 4,826 0.3 1.4 13 N/A* N/A* 11
Wiltshire 0.6 2.6 6 0.4 0.9 4 0.8 1.4 8 98.0 94.5 963 0.2 0.6 2 N/A* N/A* 9

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity and area (police officers)’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity and area (police officers)’ (CSV)

Summary of Police workforce By ethnicity and area (police officers) Summary

This data shows that:

  • in 2019, the Metropolitan Police had the highest percentage of police officers from Asian, Black, Mixed and Other backgrounds combined (at 15.0% in total)
  • this partly reflects London’s population as a whole, with 40.2% of people coming from Asian, Black, Mixed and Other ethnic groups in the 2011 Census
  • in the West Midlands, a total of 11.0% of police officers and 29.9% of the general population came from the Asian, Black, Mixed and Other ethnic groups
  • in Bedfordshire, 10.0% of police officers and 22.5% of the general population came from the Asian, Black, Mixed and Other ethnic groups
  • police forces in North Wales, Cumbria and Dyfed-Powys had the smallest percentage of officers from Asian, Black, Mixed or Other backgrounds (at 0.9%, 1.1% and 1.1%), in line with their general population figures

6. By ethnicity and rank over time (police officers)

Percentage and number of police officers by ethnicity and rank (2007 and 2019)
Asian Black Mixed White Other including Chinese Unknown
Rank Asian % 2007 Asian Number 2007 Asian % 2019 Asian Number 2019 Black % 2007 Black Number 2007 Black % 2019 Black Number 2019 Mixed % 2007 Mixed Number 2007 Mixed % 2019 Mixed Number 2019 White % 2007 White Number 2007 White % 2019 White Number 2019 Other inc Chinese % 2007 Other inc Chinese Number 2007 Other inc Chinese % 2019 Other inc Chinese Number 2019 Unknown % 2007 Unknown Number 2007 Unknown % 2019 Unknown Number 2019
Chief Officer 2.0 4 1.5 3 0.5 1 0.5 1 1.0 2 0.5 1 96.6 196 97.5 192 0.0 0 0.0 0 N/A* 3 N/A* 21
Chief Superintendent 1.3 6 2.6 8 0.6 3 1.0 3 0.6 3 1.3 4 97.2 456 94.8 294 0.2 1 0.3 1 N/A* 0 N/A* 8
Superintendent 1.0 10 1.3 12 0.8 8 1.0 9 0.5 5 1.9 17 97.4 954 95.6 855 0.2 2 0.1 1 N/A* 8 N/A* 23
Chief Inspector 1.0 18 1.6 27 0.5 10 0.7 11 1.2 22 1.4 23 97.2 1,778 96.3 1,618 0.1 2 0.1 2 N/A* 18 N/A* 35
Inspector 1.0 72 2.2 125 0.5 36 0.8 43 0.7 49 1.5 85 97.5 6,790 95.1 5,325 0.2 16 0.4 24 N/A* 69 N/A* 113
Sergeant 1.1 235 2.1 396 0.8 179 0.9 172 0.7 162 1.7 309 97.0 21,026 94.8 17,584 0.3 65 0.5 89 N/A* 283 N/A* 342
Constable 1.6 1,766 3.1 2,929 1.0 1,113 1.4 1,268 1.1 1,176 2.2 2,052 95.7 103,172 92.5 86,413 0.5 546 0.8 776 N/A* 1,618 N/A* 2,691

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity and rank over time (police officers)’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity and rank over time (police officers)’ (CSV)

Summary of Police workforce By ethnicity and rank over time (police officers) Summary

‘Senior officers’ include Chief Officers, Chief Superintendents, Superintendents and Chief Inspectors.

This data shows that:

  • at the end of March 2019, there was a higher percentage of police constables from Asian, Black, Mixed and Other backgrounds combined (7.5%) than senior officers (4.0%)
  • between 2007 and 2019, the percentage of constables from Asian, Black, Mixed and Other backgrounds went up from 4.3% to 7.5% in total
  • between 2007 and 2013, the percentage of senior officers from Asian, Black, Mixed and Other backgrounds went up from 2.8% to 3.9%, and remained stable since

7. By ethnicity and gender over time (police officers)

Number and percentage of police officers by ethnicity and gender (2007 and 2019)
Female Male
Ethnicity Female Number 2007 Female % 2007 Female Number 2019 Female % 2019 Male Number 2007 Male % 2007 Male Number 2019 Male % 2019
Asian 402 1.2 721 2.0 1,709 1.6 2,755 3.3
Black 359 1.1 424 1.2 991 0.9 1,068 1.3
Mixed 393 1.2 729 2.0 1,026 1.0 1,744 2.1
White 31,463 96.1 34,470 94.3 102,909 96.1 77,225 92.5
Other including Chinese 130 0.4 222 0.6 502 0.5 666 0.8
Unknown 371 N/A* 861 N/A* 1,628 N/A* 2,287 N/A*

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity and gender over time (police officers)’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity and gender over time (police officers)’ (CSV)

Summary of Police workforce By ethnicity and gender over time (police officers) Summary

This data shows that:

  • at the end of March 2019, there was a higher percentage of male police officers from Asian, Black, Mixed and Other backgrounds combined (7.5%) than female officers (5.7%)
  • between 2007 and 2019, the percentage of male police officers from Asian, Black, Mixed and Other ethnic backgrounds went up from 3.9% to 7.5%
  • in the same period, the percentage of female officers from the same backgrounds went up from 3.9% to 5.7%

8. By ethnicity and role (whole workforce)

Percentage and number of people in the police workforce, by ethnicity and role
Police Officer Police Staff Community Support Officer Designated Officer
Ethnicity Police Officer % Police Officer Number (FTE) of staff Police Staff % Police Staff Number (FTE) of staff Community Support Officer % Community Support Officer Number (FTE) of staff Designated Officer % Designated Officer Number (FTE) of staff
Asian 2.9 3,475 3.3 2,047 4.5 417 3.2 149
Black 1.2 1,492 2.0 1,238 2.9 267 3.0 139
Mixed 2.1 2,473 1.1 677 1.5 141 1.6 73
White 93.1 111,695 92.9 57,000 90.0 8,361 91.4 4,233
Other including Chinese 0.7 888 0.6 377 1.1 101 0.8 37
Unknown N/A* 3,148 N/A* 3,074 N/A* 260 N/A* 262

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity and role (whole workforce)’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity and role (whole workforce)’ (CSV)

Summary of Police workforce By ethnicity and role (whole workforce) Summary

This data shows that:

  • the percentage of people from Asian, Black, Mixed and Other backgrounds combined working as police officers (6.9%) was lower than all other types of role
  • 10.0% of police community support officers were from Asian, Black, Mixed and Other backgrounds, the highest percentage out of all paid roles

9. By ethnicity (special constables only)

Percentage and number of special constables, and percentage of the overall population (at Census 2011), by ethnicity
Ethnicity % % of population (2011) Number (Headcount) of Special Constables
Asian 5.9 6.8 567
Black 1.8 3.3 173
Mixed 2.1 2.2 197
White 88.9 86.0 8,523
Other including Chinese 1.3 1.7 128
Unknown N/A* N/A* 1,052

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity (special constables only)’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity (special constables only)’ (CSV)

Summary of Police workforce By ethnicity (special constables only) Summary

Special constables are unpaid volunteers and with no fixed hours. The figures count the total number of special constables regardless of whether they worked part-time or full-time.

This data shows that:

  • 11.1% of special constables came from Asian, Black, Mixed and Other backgrounds combined
  • there was more ethnic diversity among special constables than among police officers and other roles

10. Data sources

Source

Type of data

Administrative data

Type of statistic

National Statistics

Publisher

Home Office

Publication frequency

Yearly

Purpose of data source

Ethnicity and gender data is used by police forces as part of diversity monitoring schemes.

11. Download the data

Police Workforce - Spreadsheet (csv) 51 MB

Please note: We have found some errors in this download file. We are working to correct them and will update the file as soon as possible.